Part of my decision to start a lacrosse club in Minnesota was that I felt called to empower young women to be themselves and love who they are, and love others. There is a lack of love in this world, and specifically a lack of female to female support and kindness. I know I can influence that by how I live my life on a daily basis. I know that I can encourage that in others, and that coaching happens to be my platform for my message.
As my club grew, the message seemed to shrink. Girls and families flocked to the superior training – something that they can visibly see in friends on their community teams who have improved so quickly. “How did you do it?” “True….” and so they came. While finding growth and success in the club world is fun – TRUE MINNESOTA GIRLS is now ranked in the top 100 programs in the country – something else started to happen. Girls were all of the sudden “good enough” or “too good” for their team selection.
***We interrupt this programming to bring you this PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT***
IF YOU HAVE ASPIRATIONS TO PLAY IN COLLEGE – you are never “good enough” or “too good” for anything.
***This concludes our PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT. Thank you.***
(Feeling like that could be 7 separate posts for later days)
This year, my Directors – love them dearly, so proud – started this wonderful program on Tuesdays; they have leadership calls, open to the entire program. Each week, they tackle a new topic like what it means to be a leader, practicing gratitude, creating a sense of belonging, etc. Following the call, the girls receive a bit of homework. They have two weeks to complete the assignment, and so far they have been; interview someone in a position of leadership, could be a parent or a family member in order to learn what they need to do on a daily basis as a leader, write a thank you note to either a teacher or a frontline worker that has helped you during this pandemic. Each assignment should take no more than 10-15 minutes. Now, I understand school is difficult for a lot of students right now, and distance learning is something that is suited for a smaller margin of students than those currently being forced into it. I understand all of that, but I need to draw a line, and I need to put this message out into the universe.
I recently had a concerned parent reach out and tell me that what my coaches are running has nothing to do with lacrosse and we are a lacrosse club, so we should stick to what we know.
ON A SCALE OF AGREE TO DISAGREE – I STRONGLY disagree with you.
They continued on saying that their daughter had enough homework and we should no longer be expecting any participation from their child.
The message we are sending your daughter is one of self-efficacy and courage in the face of adversity. To self advocate, to lead positively in all areas of life, and to leave a legacy on and off the field. If this doesn’t have enough to do with lacrosse for you, fine. Here is your daughter’s homework – go run, workout, get on the wall, get to practice, be present, thank the coaches, respect your leaders, encourage your teammates and LOVE the journey. Goals are great, but don’t lose sight of all the things that have to happen along the way, and soak up every bit of it because it makes you who you are.
**As I am writing this, two of my former athletes – now together at their D1 program – had to FaceTime me. They were putting on their uniforms for the first time, and couldn’t wait to show me how cool they looked. Both girls were committed to their journey and can’t wait to come back and coach young girls to commit to their own. That’s my legacy. That’s my program. Leadership training has everything to do with your daughter’s success in life, and that’s what we do here.